Ballast Point Brewing Fathom IPA

Ballast Point was founded in 1996 by Jack White, a home brewer who opened Home Brew Mart just 4 years earlier. 20 years later, Ballast Point has 6 locations in California and one in Virginia with tasting rooms where beer lovers can take a tour of the facility, have a few pints or take a growler to go. Over the years they have won countless medals at numerous beer competitions and were named “Small Brewery Champion” at the World Beer Cup.

Fathom IPA is brewed to showcase what a west-coast style IPA has to offer, made to be a clean easy drinking IPA.

ABV: 6%               IBU’s: 50

Pour: A rich golden color with plenty or carbonation. The head is white and frothy, fades slowly sticking to the side of the glass.

Nose: Classic west-coast nose, lots of pine needles with some orange peel in the background.

Palate: Light-bodied with good amount of citrus. Really nice hop presence that has almost resin like feel but isn’t sticky, just stays for a minute before a clean finish with moderate acidity.

Overall: A really good brew, highlights a lot of the characteristics you would expect in a west-coast IPA but super sessionable. Great to take along on your weekend trips or to enjoy with a nice burger and fries.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints

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Knee Deep Brewing Breaking Bud

Based in Auburn California, Knee Deep Brewing has been around since mid-2010. They started contract brewing out of another facility, and only sold their beers in kegs. 7 years later, they now operate a 28,000 square foot facility and produce 16 year round offerings, along with seasonal releases and small batches only available in their tasting room.

Breaking Bud is a West Coast IPA brewed with 3 different hop varieties and won a Bronze Medal for American IPA’s at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.

ABV: 6.5% IBU’s: 50

Head: A small off white head forms and leaves some lacing as it fades away.

Pour: A golden honey color, slightly hazy with light carbonation.

Nose: A big hop presence. Hints of fruit but mostly notes of lemon and a little tangerine.

Palate: Very mild considering the amount of pine on the nose. Medium bodied with a sharp but quick hop flavor before a smooth finish. There’s almost no acidity on the finish giving it a very airy feel.

Overall: Really enjoyable, I was expecting a very hop forward IPA from the nose but this was surprisingly mellow. A solid IPA that was very easy to drink. Fans of super hoppy IPA’s may want a little more, but the combination of a hoppy start and airy finish make a great combination.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints

River Horse Citrus Maximus IPA

A local NJ favorite, River Horse citrusmaximusBrewing Company has grown into one of the area premier craft breweries. I have had the pleasure of visiting this brewery on multiple occasions, and though I do miss the old location in the charming town of Lambertville, the new production facility allows for a better visit.

Citrus Maximus IPA is double dosed with Citra hops, by adding them in the boil, and again during the dry hop where they combine with Mosaic  for a complex fruity aroma. They also used huge amounts of passion fruit and white grapefruit to create this super citrus, refreshing IPA.

ABV: 4.9%

Pour: Cloudy yellow orange.

Head: Nice, thick off-white head

Nose: A lot of citrus notes and grapefruit.

Palate: Very juicy on the palate. Big grapefruit flavor, with citrus notes.

Finish: Subtle hop notes finish out the experience to balance out the citrus flavors on the palate.

Overall: A very nice pour. Easy drinker with session level ABV. Worth picking up a four pack.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Dark City Blue Bishop IPA

The first craft brewery in historic Asbury Park NJ, Dark City Brewing opened off Main Street 18 months ago. Founded by lifelong Mommouth County resident Kevin Sharpe, the brewery features three 15-barrel fermenters, and a tasting room that features a line of core beers, mixed with seasonal and occasional limited releases that vary from IPA’s to Gose with collaborations from other local business.

Blue Bishop is an IPA with mosaic hops, fermented over a huge amount of Blueberries for a fruity finish.

ABV: 5.5% IBU’s: 45

Pour: (from Tap) A dark reddish almost mahogany color, the blueberries really imparted a nice color.

Head: Thin off-white lingers before leaving with no lacing.

Nose: A nice mix of hops and fruit, each there without over powering.

Palate: Lots of flavor and easy to drink. The hops lead with nice pine notes and hint acidity before the blueberries send it all home. The finish is clean, refreshing and leaves you coming back for more.

Overall: Awesome stuff! Some of our Bottle King stores have started receiving small shipments of Dark City, but this is the first I’ve tried and definitely won’t be the last. Just awesome! Enjoy with spicy pulled pork, oysters or fruit salad.

Great Lakes Steady Rollin Session IPA

Great Lakes Brewing Company, founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway, was the first brewpub and microbrewery in Ohio. What started as a dream between two brothers, has grown into the 21st largest brewery by volume in United States. Important to Cleveland’s local identity, the brewery distributes over a dozen year round and seasonal brews.

Steady Rollin is single hop session IPA brewed with mosaic hops and made to be an easy going IPA.

ABV: 4.8%   IBU: 50

Pour: A really rich amber color, clean with plenty of carbonation.

Head: Off-white and very thin, disappears about as quickly as it formed.

Nose: Floral, there’s a nice hop presence giving a good amount of pine. Some light tropical fruits notes in the background as well.

Palate: Lighter than expected, almost no malt notes at all. The hops are mild but still have pine punch and almost sticky feel in the mouth. Tropical fruit brings it together with just hint of acidity at the end.

Overall: Not what I was expecting but an overall nice session IPA. The mosaic hops really leave nice flavor and fruit while still leaving a bit of resin behind. Another solid beer from team at Great Lakes Brewing. Pair with chicken, spicy grilled sausages or fresh summer salad.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Dogfish Head Flesh & Blood IPA

Founded in 1995, Dogfish HeadFlesh-&-Blood-IPA-Cans could be one the most recognizable craft beer brands in the United States. Located in Milton Delaware and founded by Sam Calagione, they brew around 175,000 barrels of beer a year (that’s over 5 million gallons!). Known for their “off centered ales,” this wide ranging portfolio is geared towards unique and non-traditional recipes.

The Flesh & Blood IPA is a well hopped IPA, brewed with orange peel, lemon flesh, and blood orange juice. Not just a clever name here folks!

7.5% ABV

Pour: A surprisingly dark copper/amber with hints of light orange hues.

Head: An off white/cream head that quickly dissipates.

Nose: Hints or orange and grapefruit with a balance of sweet aromas, and floral hop notes.

Palate: Lots of orange peel and bitter lemon right up front. A nice balance of sweet and sour. The finish is very smooth with a lingering taste of chocolate covered caramel. Think Riesen candies.

Overall: A very nice pour. I must say that I was a bit surprised by this one, based on previous experiences with Dogfish Head IPAs. The bitter hop notes were really nowehere to be found. Lots of juicy flavors with a nice sweet/toasty wheat backbone. Very well done. Great for the season, but also has the stuffing to hold up to the cooler temperatures in the fall.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints

Oskar Blues Fugli

Oskar-Blues-FugliWhat started as a small brewpub in the late 90’s, has become the craft beer behemoth Oskar Blues Brewery. Now with two breweries, one in Longmont, Colorado and a satellite brewery in Brevard, North Carolina, they have plans for a 3rd in location in Austin, Texas. Offering eight year round selections and a handful seasonal and limited brews, they continue to add new beers to their lineup.

This IPA is brewed with Ugli and Yuzu.

Ugli is a hybrid of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. Yuzu is similar to a mandarin orange, but tarter. These two fruits give this IPA a strong citrus background.

ABV: 5.8% IBU’s: 60

Pour: a clear amber color, with minimal carbonation.

Head: A thin off hear forms quickly and vanishes even faster.

Nose: Lots of pine. like a west coast style IPA, with a good amount of citrus on the tail.

Palate: Medium bodied with a sticky characteristic. Big hop presence gives a good amount of pine notes. The fruit show up on the end and mellows the pine, while giving some citrus flavors. Finish is clean with mellow acidity.

Overall: Really good stuff. I was expecting more of a tropical style IPA, but this has a big west coast vibe. The fruit was more of a way to tame the hops while leaving some citrus hints behind. This would pair with mango habanero wings, mussels or carrot cake.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints